Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Knitting lady Mabbott part 2

I wanted Lady Mabbott to be a tight fitting cardigan in thin yarn. I decided to make it very simple so I wouldn't complicate things too much for my first seamless set in sleeve cardigan. The instructions in Elisabeth Zimmerman's books are for a sweater and she would probably have made the cardigan by knitting in the round and then cut it up later. Since I like my knitting to not be "broken", I decided to knit it back and forth on circular needles. This also gives me a lot of freedom when it comes to shaping the neck. Luckily, I don't mind to purl... I hope that knitting this cardigan will teach me to transform future design ideas into actual knitting.

So this is how it is progressing: I am ready to join the sleeves to the body and start knitting the seamless set in sleeves and body all in one... jubii !

Here are the mainlines from the logbook:

18 April: Cast on 235 stitches( This number is the Key number ) with cream coloured yarn using the long tail cast on and needles size 2 mm. Start knitting the first row ( being the wrong side of the cardigan ) purl 2, knit 1, purl 1......knit 1, purl 2. Knit this ribbed edge for 12 rows.

Change to the orange yarn and knitting needles size 2,5 mm. Start knitting plain stocking stitch, first row being the rigth side of the knitting. Knit 59 stitcehs place first marker ( side seam ). Knit 116 stitches place marker (Somewhere on the back knit two stitches together so the total amount of stitches will be 234 ) Knit 59stitches. Continue in plain stocking stitches for 140 rows.

With four needles size 2 mm cast on 60 stitches using long tail cast on and knit 13 rounds of ribbon. On the last round increase to 78 stitches ( 33 % of the key number ). Change to the orange yarn and needles size 2,5 mm. Continue in plain stocking stitches for 151 rows.

Now make phoney seams on body and sleeves ( see pictures )

To be continued...

Note to myself:

Try using the knitted cast on or maybe long tail cast on with double yarn.

Learn a good and easy way to get those sketches in the computer and maybe do collages; does anyone know ... ?

Friday, June 12, 2009

New lamp in the kitchen...

When living in Scandinavia with a rather long and dark winter, the lighting is so important, however I seem to have a hard time finding great lamps... Let me rephrase that I find it hard to find great, and not too expensive lamps.

So lucky me, I found one for our kitchen at a thrift shop with a wonderfull texture that really shows when the light is lit. John and I agreed that they look a little like old pantalettes.

But now lets not talk more about winter... It is enough that the 10 centigrades celsius outside reminds me of winter...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Playing with kids...

All parents have a bad conscience about something. It is likely that in the evening after kids are tucked in, we get a cup of coffee and then the question "Am I a good mom/dad shows up?"
Most of the times we know the answer. We know that there are a lot of things we do well and some we can do better. In my case it is being able to sit down, be present and play. Even when I was a kid I thought playing was a bit boring. Nope, I built stuff, made plans (big plans) and it was always very frustrating when I had friends over and we made a grocery shop of a little table and all kind of weeds and roots on it that got washed to look like parsley and potatoes and then suddenly they started to play now I am the customer ( with a silly grownup fancy lady voice ) and you will sell me some potatoes... WHY ??... we were just having so much fun by BUILDING the shop - no play was necessary !!

Then you get a kid and you just want to be the best parent in the world, and trouble starts... But then there is Bilofix. Seth, my son is still too small for the little pieces, so I spend one good hour alone building the crane ( tightening all the screws very well ). When he got home, we played together pulling it around and moving all kind of things. I was thinking: How can we make it better and built more on it ? Seth was probably just excited about how it moved around on the little wheels... We had fun and I know that when we play the best it is when I play like I did when I was a kid. He loves it and I know we are going to have so much fun in the future making a lot of stuff, painting and building.

It really makes me happy when he grabs some pieces of wood lying around and makes it into a train... I really understood it and maybe we can find a big piece of wood that could be the engine and because I still want to be the best mom I say silly things like: "I am the engine driver and I have so much to do today, and a schedule Ho Ho"...

Suddenly he stops the game and uses a planter as hat and looks like a little but very surprised Chinese rice grower

All the fun we will have... I just love him so much...

I found the two boxes of bilofix at a thrift shop. All the bits and pieces are stacked away for when he gets older.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cardigan pour moi...

Yes It is done... The design is my own and I spend lots of time on the details. Pockets, The decreases at the shoulders, and I tried different types of cast on and of and instead of picking up the stitches at the neck I crocheted in a way so the edge got enclosed in the ribbon. I like that the back of the knitting is attractive too.

The yarn is: Marianne Isager Twinni Alpaca in cream and Marianne Isager Højlandsgarn in the color maize. The combination is very soft but keeps the shape very well. I am becoming more and more aware of how important it is how the knitting fells is it heavy, loose, cold, warm ? How does it move and does it get out of shape ? It is knitted on needles size 2½ and 3½.

I like the combination of a body with pattern and the sleeves with plain stocking stitches. It reminds me of a jacket I used to have with a body in very rough knitted fabric and sleeves in suede. I loved that jacket so much.

Last picture taken on our trip to Copenhagen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Looking through the blog I realized that the pictures of our apartment have been posted a lot of places on other blogs but not here...so here comes !

There has been some changes that I am planning on telling you all about at the end of the summer, when I have been finishing it all.

Monday, June 8, 2009

White shirt for Seth

White shirts are just great, but for little boys I like them to be casual in the style of 'successfull business man spending time at his summerresidens, reading the big philosophers and eating locally produced berries'.

I have been working on a great slope for shirts and this one really fits very well at the shoulders. After having it tested at Seth for a couple of days I cut up fabrics for two more in size 98 cl... You just cant have to many of these. The fabric is seersucker with the lining at the neck being in plain cotton

The fabric is light and is perfect on a hot day with the sleeves rolled up, and when the weather gets cold he will be wearing it with a long sleeve t shirt under and maybe with a vest.

I like the little cream cloured button and loop against the bright white shirt.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New baskets - new projects

New projects... Well that is not quite true... I started these projects about a year ago, and somehow things didn't really turn out the way I wanted them to.

I saw Brooklyn tweeds version of Saddle shoulder Aran cardigan by Meg Swansen ( EZ's daughter ) and thought maybe it was time to knit something for John ( He had been begging me to make something with cables ). It was all started before I knew anything about Elisabeth Zimmerman's percentage system so it was really a project that exceeded my knowledge and capabilities at that time. At the same time it can be real difficult to calculate how many stitches you need when you are using a lot of different cables on one sweater or cardigan, so I started over and over again. Then I was given EZ books for my birthday and did a lot of reading and things started to come together.

At the same time I started another project. I wanted a thin cream coloured cardigan in all alpaca, but no It just was too floppy, so that was stashed. Finally I paired the thin alpaca with some Shetland wool in the colour Maize, and that turned out very well.

These two projects was actually the ones that made me realize that I needed to plan and organize my knitting more. Both cardigans are close to be finished and I am quite content that I didn't give up cause I just had to learn so much.

And still I really like these baskets...


Friday, June 5, 2009

Copenhagen trip... for parents

We told our son we were going on a trip to a big city and would be home on film day ( That is Friday in our house ). He looked at us and understood... amazing how much he has grown, every day something new happens and his personality just grows and grows. We called him every day ( we were gone 3 days) but he didn't have the time to chat, he was busy. Through the phone he winked, and then he was of to play with grandma or grandpa.

We stayed at Hotel phoenix right in the centre of Copenhagen. It is a kind of hotel that brings out the little princess in me, getting all excited about the little bottles in the bathroom ( yes... off course I brought them home !! ) and the swirling stairs where it is absolutely plausible to loose a shoe and then wait... Luckily John was with me so I didn't have to risk my health in a maneuver that would look credible waiting for the prince to save me.

Wednesday we went to the theatre and watched a revue. We wanted to see a ballet but I guess the little ballerinas have stopped dancing for this season, so we went to see a revue. That was a gamble since we are not particular fond of the genre, but after all, since it was the Royal Theatre, we decided to give it a try. Yes they were very professional and the theatre was beautifull and impressive but lets just say we looked at each other afterwards and said "been there done that".

Thursday it was time for a stroll in the city checking out all the little specie shops we just don't have in our town, but I have to admit that we mostly sat on cafés. The best café was The royal cafe in the backyard of the royal Copenhagen porcelain shop. Very special atmosphere

And the best strawberry tart ever...

In the evening we had a late dinner at MASH.... Great place.

Friday We had breakfast with an old friend of John at cafe Granola. She is a writer and has written quite a few very humoristic things about being a mum and other things. Both the cafe and Maren Uthaug turned out to be really nice.

Then we were of to see the outdoor exhibition 'My home is my castle'. It was in Frederiksberg Have in the part where the garden of The Danish Royal Horticultural Society garden is located. It was Okay but a little too twee for my taste. we still had a nice time and had some buns before we took a cab to the central train station. Unfortunately there had been some trouble on the rails so instead of the trip beeing with no stops, we ended up changing trains and buses 5 times. We arrived 3 hours later than calculated. Not really a problem when grandma is waiting at home with dinner and dessert...

All in all it is was a nice trip... but next time we will see a ballet.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Knitting Lady Mabbott part 1

I started a new knitting project. Lady Mabbott is an orange cardigan with offwhite ribbing's. So far she has been a nice project... I will tell a bit about how I organize my knitting.

First I set up my knitting bag: The bag is a basic drawstring cotton bag. I find it very easy to find things in the white bag since the light shines a bit through the cotton. I have one bag for each project making it easy for me to quickly bring the chosen project to where ever I am going.

So whats in the bag... ?

one pair of Scissors.
Crochet needle in the same size as my knitting needles.
All the knitting needles to be used, circular and straight.
Measuring tape.
Special sewing needles for knitting.
Little Zip lock bags with little loops that I use for row and stitch markers.
Pencil ( forgot that on the picture... )

For every project I start a little notebook. One part of the book is general info. In this project it is:

Yarn bought: 300 g of Duo in color 550. Price kr. 130 ( $ 24 )/ 100 gram
Besides, I use a bit off white Duo from the stash.

Little knitting test:
Cast on 35 stitches on needles 2,5 mm ( long tail cast on ), 4 rows garter stitch, 44 rows of stocking stitches with 2 garter stitches on each side, then 4 rows of garter stitch where the last is also the cast of row. Wash the swap, let i dry, then count the gauge: I ended up with 15 stitches to 5 cm. , and 22 rows to 5 cm.

In this part of the notebook I also wrote down my reflection on what should be in my knitting bag.

I also keep the diagram of the cardigan folded up inside the notebook. It is drawn on millimeter charted paper where every square on the paper equals one stitch and one row.

Another part of the notebook is the actual log of the project. What I did and sometimes I even write down the date for whenever a sleeve or something else was started, mostly because it is quite fun to see how fast the knitting is moving.

To be continued...

Today I did a little ( late ) spring cleaning here in my blog. I found out that the labelling was in quite a bit of a mess, I cleared out all the labels and in the near future I will try to get it sorted out starting today with the knitting related stuff. Now it is possible to look at all the posting of a specific knitting project since in the future they will all be given a name. It is still possible to see all the knitting under the label "knitting" - what else.